On Monday afternoon, Carol & I sat in a small consultation room at the Mayo Clinic, and a very solemn faced doctor apologetically gave us the very bad news. Based on results from blood samples taken that morning, it appeared that the stem cell transplant had failed to alleviate the cancer. She was bewildered and obviously felt very badly for us, but could offer no explanation. We would sample again in June, and make plans to attack the cancer via chemotherapy. It's not just going back onto chemo that was the bad news - it was loss of a nice number of years off of the survival timeline, whatever that timeline might be.
On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, after returning to Dallas, we spoke to the same doctor via telephone calls and got just the opposite news. She had received results of the bone marrow biopsy, and just as bad as the blood analysis was in the bad direction, so was the bone marrow biopsy extremely to the good in the good direction. The biopsy showed the cancer to be at 2% or less in the bone marrow, by far the lowest it has ever been since diagnosis (it was 64% at diagnosis, 12% when my blood showed cancer to be the lowest in May 2010, and about 25% prior to the stem cell transplant in January). The bone marrow biopsy declares the transplant to be a success, but no one is using the R word (remission) as of yet.
Officially, we are awaiting another blood sampling to be done in June before any declarations are made, but the Mayo cancer doc is very optimistic. She described the Monday blood sample, in her medical terminology, to probably be "just a flukey test."
So, what has happened? In short, on Monday afternoon we got some very bad news, a lot of people did a lot of praying, and on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons we got some very good news. I did nothing at all to merit this good news. Thanks to all of you for your praying, and please continue to do so. To God be the glory for the great things He has done.